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Graduate Student Guide

A guide to help new or continuing graduate students understand the resources available to them. Tailored to students in the humanities.

Humanities Databases

IU subscribes to far too many databases to list here. What is more important than knowing which particular database to use (for that, see the research guides or talk to the subject specialist listed on each research guides) is understanding a few basic points about databases:

  1. Databases range from highly specific to highly generalized. Each has benefits and drawbacks as you might expect. International Medieval Bibliography, to exemplify a specific one, has cataloged articles into subjects like "heraldry" and "Crusades," but the database is obviously less useful to non-medievalists.
  2. Databases are each a bit different from each other. It is well worth your time to glance at the "help" page, especially the sections on searching. Also see if the database has a "thesaurus" (which advises you what terms to search, e.g. Revolutionary War and not American Revolution).
  3. While each database is unique to some degree, a few companies (Ebsco, Proquest, Gale, etc.) run a large percentage of them. If you pay attention to who owns which ones, it will help your searching.
  4. Keep track of where you search, what you search, and what you find. Otherwise you will inevitably replicate your work over and over again.

Below are just a few databases that might be of use in the humanities. It is a small percentage of what's available. For a slightly longer list, click here.